Epic is a 2013 animated action adventure fantasy film directed by Chris Wedge. It is based on the childrens book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce (it’s a very good book, I might add).
Epic tells the story of a teenage girl, Mary Katherine (though she prefers “M.K.”) and her estranged father, Professor Bomba, trying to reconnect. Bomba has spent years trying to prove the existence of an extensive and advanced civilization of little people living in the forest. He doesn’t realize just how right he is until his daughter accidentally enters that world while trying to help the dying queen. The queen is mortally wounded trying to return the chosen pod back to where it can bloom in the light of the full moon and choose a new queen. M.K. is entrusted with the pod, and she has to keep it safe from the evil boggins who want it for themselves.
The story flowed very well. There was just enough action to keep things moving, and the character exposition was not overwhelming because the director chose to show rather than tell. Like the animators at Pixar in A Bug’s Life, the animators at Blue Sky Studios paid attention to all the little things, making the environment very lifelike and enjoyable. The lighting effects, especially in the layered effects of the leaves and the translucency of many of the denizens of the world of the leaf men, was excellent.
The animation is excellent, even in the fast action sequences. The attention to detail, likely due to William Joyce’s involvement and/or inspiration, is amazing. Other than the faces of the big and little people (which were somewhat plastic-like), the animation is very lifelike. I especially enjoyed the animation of Ozzie—it was spot on to how enthusiastic pugs tend to be.
Another favorite part of the film was the soundtrack, done by the masterful Danny Elfman. Very rarely do I not like his work, and the music in Epic was no exception. The music fit the film like a well-tailored glove, and it didn’t pull me out of the world at all, instead allowing me to be absorbed in the world even more than I would have been without the music.
This was a great film and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. Epic was exceptionally enjoyable, and I highly recommend it.
Release Date: May 24, 2013 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Violence: 2 (some fantasy violence and battle scenes)